When there is a drowning accident on another party’s premises, it can be difficult to know what your options are for seeking compensation and whether or not another party may be liable for injuries. Given that accidental drownings can happen in so many different places, it can also be complicated to determine fault in a drowning accident, and to understand your eligibility for filing a lawsuit against one or more responsible parties. If you or someone you love recently suffered physical or emotional injuries in an accidental drowning, who is responsible? Our Florida personal injury attorneys have three key questions to ask yourself as you consider liability for a drowning.
Where Did the Accidental Drowning Occur?
First, you need to ask yourself where the accidental drowning occurred. Knowing the premises or location where the accidental drowning happened will be key in determining who may be liable for injuries. For example, did the accidental drowning happen at a beach or lake? Did it occur at a water park in Florida? Or did the accidental drowning take place at a swimming pool on a hotel’s premises, at a public pool, or the premises of a neighbor or friend?
The owner of the premises where the accidental drowning occurred, or the party responsible for managing the premises, may be liable for an accidental drowning that happened there.
Did Negligence Cause the Drowning Accident?
Once you have identified the party who may be liable for an accidental drowning, in order to determine if that party may in fact be liable, you will need to work with a Florida premises liability lawyer to determine whether negligence caused the accidental drowning. More specifically, did the property owner’s failure to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition by remedying hazards on the property or warning about risks result in the accidental drowning? For example, did the accidental drowning result from a defective pool drain that went unrepaired? Or did a water park fail to inspect and maintain equipment? These are questions that you can consider in more detail with your lawyer.
Did Comparative Fault Factor Into the Accident?
Finally, did your own negligence play a role in the accidental drowning? Florida follows a pure comparative fault rule, which means that a plaintiff’s own negligence does not necessarily mean that the defendant no longer is liable for damages. Under Florida law, once a plaintiff is fully at fault, then the defendant is no longer responsible for damages and the plaintiff is barred from recovery.
If the plaintiff is less than 100 percent at fault, the defendant (such as hotel owner, a swimming pool owner as a private residence, or a water park owner) can still be liable for damages, but the damages award will be reduced by the plaintiff’s portion of fault.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney
Do you have questions about filing a claim for compensation after an accidental drowning? One of our experienced West Palm Beach premises liability attorneys can assess your case and provide you with more information. Contact Lesser Lesser Landy & Smith PLLC today for more information.